Friday, January 24, 2014

Song of the Week

Joseph Schwantner/"In Evening's Stillness"/North Texas Wind Symphony

"Song of the week" is a bit of a misnomer for this one.  "Composition" of the week perhaps?  Anyway, you get the idea.  I first heard this piece when Drury University's Wind Symphony performed it last fall, and was listening to it again today during composers' forum at the same university, in which we were studying the piece.  "In Evening's Stillness" is a brilliant work, a masterpiece of symphonic wind composition and a complex yet gripping and accessible composition.  The myriad of percussion instruments and their inventive parts and idiosyncratic techniques is the main attraction of the piece, supported by brass harmonies that perfectly fill the role of a sustained string section with their staggered parts.  The imitative interplay of the instruments is delightful, and the odd rhythms keep the listener on his toes.

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